Craig Newmark is Web pioneer, philanthropist, and leading advocate on behalf of trustworthy journalism, voting rights, veterans and military families, and other civic causes. In 2017, he became a founding funder and executive committee member of the News Integrity Initiative, administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which seeks to advance news literacy and increase trust in journalism.
In 2016, he created the Craig Newmark Foundation to promote investment in organizations that effectively serve their communities and drive broad civic engagement at the grassroots level. Amid growing concerns about the proliferation of “fake news” in the course of the presidential campaign, one of the foundation’s first donations went to the Poynter Institute to create the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics. Newmark is widely credited for his leadership in promoting “news we can trust.”
After working at IBM as an engineer for nearly twenty years, Craig became a consultant to major firms like Charles Schwab, and in 1995 as the Internet was starting to take-off, he began curating a list of San Francisco arts and technology events he personally emailed to friends and colleagues. People were soon calling it "Craig's List,” and when Craig turned it into a company, he monetized it only minimally, opting for a business model that prioritized "doing well by doing good." Today more than 5 billion ads have been posted on the site, the vast majority for free. While Craig remains chairman of craigslist, he has not been involved in management since 2000. He continues to serve as a customer service rep so that he can stay connected to the community of craigslist users.
In 2012, Craig was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. He was named “Nerd-in-Residence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation in 2013. In 2015, craigslist received an award from the FBI in recognition of its undisclosed cooperation with the Bureau in combatting human trafficking.
Craig serves on the board of directors of a range of nonprofits including: journalism organizations (Center for Public Integrity, Columbia Journalism Review, Poynter Foundation, Sunlight Foundation); veterans organizations (Blue Star Families, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vets In Tech); women’s groups (Girls Who Code, Women in Public Service Project) and consumer organizations (Consumers Union/Consumer Reports). In addition, he serves on the advisory boards of nearly twenty other nonprofit organizations including, DonorsChoose, EFF, New America Foundation, Voto Latino, Wikimedia Foundation, Women Who Tech, and many others.
Born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1952, Craig earned degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. He lives in San Francisco and enjoys bird- and squirrel-watching, science fiction, TV, and Dad jokes.
The tech sector is filled with innovators who want to solve really tough problems. Yet, there is one huge problem they can’t seem to make a dent in, says the creator of Craigslist and the founder of Women Who Tech.